Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Two in Three Million
It was a soul enriching vacation. Tourists we were, with little time to sit, to be, to reflect; yet awe and wonder is what Moe and I experienced every day we spent in the natural ecosystems of Colorado and Wyoming, even with other tourists around.
After our nephew's breathtakingly memorable wedding on a big flat rock overhang on Shadowcliff Mountain, above Grand Lake, Colorado, in a wind so high we feared the bride and groom and minister might be blown off their rock, we took a leisurely two-day drive through open range and sage brush flats,
toward Jackson Hole and the fabled national parks of northwest Wyoming, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. In the Jackson Hole area we stayed for eight days in a one-of-a-kind B&B inn, Becker's Teton Treehouse, hand-built on a mountain side, in a lodgepole pine forest by the innkeeper himself from lodgepoles on the property. Built on the ground, yes, but 95 steps up the mountain from Heck of a Hill Road, above Wilson, Wyoming.
For guests, the steps are the only access to a house so tightly surrounded by trees that from no single vantage point could you see the whole thing. Having six guestrooms on different levels, unique interior stairways, and multiple balconies in the treetops, it's like The Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, only it has way better amenities. A real storybook adventure.
Each room is named for a different bird, native to the lodgepole forest. Our room was The Hummingbird.
Aptly named. Rufous, Broadtailed, Caliope, and Black-chinned hummers came to the feeders all day every day, dive-buzzing around our heads on the balconies. Of the four hummer species, the Rufous males were the most aggressive, and exciting to watch. They almost looked like furry rust-brown bats, and I thought at first they were, until I got a close-up look at them at the feeders. Since we only see Ruby-throats in the southeast, these hummers were a grand unexpected pleasure and only the first of many during our eight day stay, making me itch to return to blogging.
This is probably a female Caliope, but not sure because the females all look alike.
The second pleasure was meeting the innkeepers,
Denny and Sally Becker.
He, a former wilderness guide and artisan builder; she, a former school principal and artisan baker; they were so knowledgeable about how to navigate the touristy areas of Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone, that we never once felt overwhelmed by crowds. Quite the opposite, we felt among a privileged few who had the opportunity to experience that magnificent landscape in a unique and special way via the able direction of a seasoned guide, all the while knowing we were were really just two of the three million annual visitors to the carefully preserved ecosystem. More unexpected pleasures of the Wyoming landscape in upcoming posts, with high hopes to stay more regularly at it, for a while at least:-). dkm
Posted by dkm at 8:38 PM